CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Sonia Birch-Jones.

Lantzville (BC), Oolichan Books, c1983.
158pp, cloth, $16.95 ; paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-88982-062-7 ; 0-88982-058-9.

Grades 12 and up

Reviewed by Joan McGrath.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

A First Class Funeral is a first-class collection of theme-related stories, in which little Sarah Rubenstein, the ugly-duckling daughter of ill-matched, glamorous parents, tells the story of a lonely Jewish child's life in Wales during the bleak thirties. Times were hard, and dear Dad's gambling ways made them harder still; Dad was the sort of man who could bet his wife's treasured violin against a really first-class funeral that his best friend would die before midnight. . and collect. In spite of everything, he was such a charmer that everyone forgave him all his transgressions. Everyone except Mother.

These wonderful tales bring to glowing life a little world that ceased to be half a century and half a world away. Though described as fiction, A First Class Funeral has the heartbeat of the best of biography. Either way, it is a book to be savoured.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, ON.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works